eBay trials new returns options system for sellers

It’s often said by sellers that when an eBay Money Back Guarantee claim from a buyer comes in, eBay universally finds for the buyer.

eBay is currently undertaking a trial to give sellers more choices about how they respond to buyer claims with the aim of helping sellers get the results they think they deserve, especially when it comes to ‘not as described’ or suspected fraudulent returns.

eBay also says it’s improving the guidance and procedures that are given to the 1500 or so customer support reps who preside over the adjudications.

The trial began in January with a cohort of UK and US sellers and eBay continues to monitor the trial. And here’s what they said to the sellers in the trial about the new options they will have:

“After the item is delivered back to you and you’ve inspected it, you now have additional options to handle the refund. You can proceed with a full refund or, if you feel the buyer chose an incorrect reason for the return, you can decide how to handle the refund through the following options:

“• Give a full refund for item cost and original shipping

• Refund the full item cost, but select whether to:
– refund the original shipping amount paid
– charge the buyer for the return shipping cost
– charge the buyer the restocking fee listed in your policy (this option may not be shown for some international transactions—as some countries don’t permit restocking fees)

• If the item returned to you doesn’t match the item you originally shipped, do not send a refund and ask eBay to help”

Clearly this is a step in the right direction and it will be interesting to see whether it rolls out universally to all sellers any time soon and what impact that will have for sellers.

In particular, enabling sellers to register that the item returned to them is not the item that was sent should be a useful red flag for eBay to use in the background to identify persistent fraudulent buyers.

Tell us what you think of this trial.